Tuesday, September 23, 2008

First Roundup At The OK Drill

Wayne Francis, emergency coordinator for Area 5 of the Ventura County Auxiliary Communication Service, mans the ham and GMRS radios for the Ojai Valley during the recent CERT drill.

Ojai Valley residents are expected to be more self-reliant and prepared when the next valleywide emergency occurs, be it earthquake, fire or flood.
The local disaster preparedness drill on Sept. 17 went extremely well with no major glitches, according to local officials.
The goal was to establish effective communication methods among citizens, volunteers, the Police Department and Fire Department, in the event of a disaster, said 1st District Supervisor Steve Bennett. With those mechanisms in place, local residents and Community Emergency Response Team volunteers should be able to respond more calmly and efficiently during major catastrophes.
CERT volunteers counted a total of 684 “OK” signs in the Ojai Valley within an hour of the drill, indicating that 684 households are prepared for a disaster and know to put up a sign when a real event occurs. An “OK” sign posted on the window of a house during a real disaster should show that members of the household are safe, and signals CERT volunteers to move on to others in need.
Volunteers divided themselves into nine neighborhood groups to count signs Sept. 17. Local participants were asked to post “OK” signs on their homes for the drill. In the breakdown, Mira Monte volunteers counted the highest number of neighborhood participants, with a total of 225 “OK” signs. Casitas Springs had the least, with no volunteers and no participants, according to the East City area CERT volunteer coordinator, Paul Garth. Meiners Oaks volunteers counted the second highest number of participants, 153 “OK” signs, the East City area, which runs from Signal Street to Gridley Road came in third with a count of 101 signs. West City, which runs from Signal Street to the beginning of Highway 33, counted 84 signs. Arbolada-Foothill volunteers came in next with 46 signs, and the East End of Ojai had 44 signs posted. Oak View volunteers counted 30 participants in their neighborhood and Upper Ojai volunteers counted only one.
The first test of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department’s reverse 911 system effectively made 12,000 calls in 10 minutes, according to Bennett. The Sheriff’s Department staff will have to work on a few minor technical issues to address unanswered calls, however.
Sean Kellythorne, incident commander for the citizen drill said that the communication between volunteers, the Police Department, and Fire Department went exceptionally well. Members of the Ojai Valley Amateur Radio Club accompanied CERT volunteers on their “OK” sign count and relayed information to Kellythorne through portable amateur radios. He then transferred information to the police and battalion chiefs.
“Fire Department and Police said that the communication between volunteers, the Police Department, and Fire Department went exceptionally well. Members of the Ojai Valley Amateur Radio Club accompanied CERT volunteers on their “OK” sign count and relayed information to Kellythorne through portable amateur radios. He then transferred information to the police and battalion chiefs.
“Fire Department and Police Department officials really see the value of this operation,” said Kellythorne.
“We had over 100 people on the streets which is almost 10 times the amount that the Fire Department could field. To say they were pleased would be an underestimation.”
Garth said that 40 more people signed up for the next CERT training and that local volunteers are hoping to get a much higher count for the drill next year.
“This is a classic example of the community wanting to help itself, and the government helping them do that,” said Bennett. “It was essentially a citizen’s drill that we helped coordinate. It’s the best kind of partnership when the government helps the people help themselves.”
To sign up for CERT training call Bennett’s office at 654-2703. To register a cell phone number for reverse 911 calls go to the county web site at countyofventura.org.


Anonymous said...

I did not get a drill call. I live in Mira Monte.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Why don't you go take a serious LONG nap, #2, if you are always so friggin tired. If you do not have anything relevant to say, keep your ego-inflated yap shut! At least the first comment was on-subject. YOU are the type those in charge should prohibit from commenting. Or ARE YOU in charge??? The OVN needs to set some rules and enforce them.

Anonymous said...

I too think it is important to know that not every household received an "OK Drill" call. I wonder if those in charge of the drill are going to take a look at this in a few days to note the responses.

I also agree with those that have suggested elsewhere that, if the OV News is going to host this forum for comments on their articles, they should demand decorum be followed, that only sensible, relevant opinions be made. Either demand people id themselves, or only have the forum open during the hours they wish to be on-hand to remove objectionable, off-subject comments.

OV News, whaddaya think? This stuff is getting out of control. It is interesting to read stuff that makes sense, but as a platform for whack-jobs, it is so much manure.

Anonymous said...

the best thing to do is to ignore any comments you don't like.

don't give the person the attention they crave and the attention they can't find anywhere else.

this is their life, such as it is.

Anonymous said...

U.S. troops returning from duty in Iraq will be carrying out homeland patrols in America from October 1st in complete violation of Posse Comitatus for the purposes of helping with “civil unrest and crowd control” - which could include dealing with unruly Americans after a complete economic collapse.

full article here http://www.infowars.com/?p=4803

live free or die said...

I could not say it any better.
still if this is all just fear mongering I ask EVERY one to look at our constitution before it is gone.
Please not for me and not because of me for your own sake.
all of the things in place now are unjust and should not be there and most of all its very illegal.
Also stop and think we had enemies before 9/11 and continue to now. Being afraid is letting Tierney take over don't sacrifice freedom for security.
NO FEAR !!Divided we fall!! We need to revive the republic RON PAUL FOR PRES.

Anonymous said...

case and point posters 4&5

Anonymous said...

but as a platform for whack-jobs, it is so much manure.

Take away the manure and you wouldn't have much of a national media industry left. We've come a long way from the days of Walter Cronkite and Edward R. Murrow to the days of TMZ, and the journey has been all downhill. Sorry to see that a lot of the print media has also followed the Pied Piper to Sleazeville, and sorry to see the OVN blog headed in the same direction. I hope that the OVN newspaper doesn't fall into the same journalistic cesspool. So far, they've mostly had good writers, and those writers, by dint of their old school professionalism, deserve to have a good place to work. This blog does not honor the OVN's writers at all, even though the blog comments are supposedly about their stories.

James Hatch said...

Let's face it. Cutting edge opinions are only delivered by those with the sharpest pen. When James Hatch blogs, people stop and think about his genius.

When James Hatch doesn't get the drill call, all hope for humanity in the valley is placed in jeopardy.

Anonymous said...

So, James, are you related to Brian, Bridget, Isaac and Rita?

James Hatch said...

No. The ring to the name, much like the thoughts in my blog are cutting-edge, catchy, and straight to the point. Without revealing too much of the mystery behind selecting the name, I will divulge that it is in part a tribute to the great author James Joyce and the great senator, Orrin Hatch: One being the most influential writer of his time and the other being a straight talking politician. I think we can agree that James Hatch is both an influential writer and a master politician. This is a winning combination that is embodied in the great debates of James Hatch on the OVN Blog.

I thank you for your support and encourage you to vote for me in my run for mayor.

Palin on the Mideast said...

We don't have to second-guess what their efforts would be if they believe … that it is in their country and their allies, including us, all of our best interests to fight against a regime, especially Iran, who would seek to wipe them off the face of the earth. It is obvious to me who the good guys are in this one and who the bad guys are. The bad guys are the ones who say Israel is a stinking corpse and should be wiped off the face of the earth. That's not a good guy who is saying that. Now, one who would seek to protect the good guys in this, the leaders of Israel and her friends, her allies, including the United States, in my world, those are the good guys.

Anonymous said...

somewhere in california there is a village missing an idiot